Top New Hampshire newspaper shreds Ted Cruz's "Texas Tough Guy act": "Tough talk is all he has to offer"

Today's New Hampshire Union-Leader editorial is unflinching in its rebuke of the Texas Senator

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published December 8, 2015 7:39PM (EST)

  (AP/Nati Harnik)
(AP/Nati Harnik)

Ted Cruz is a phony, pandering as a tough guy in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino terror attacks to win votes, according to a blistering new editorial in the New Hampshire Union Leader -- New Hampshire’s largest paper.

The Union Leader's editorial board, which came under a lot of heat recently for its endorsement of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, chastised Cruz on Tuesday for what it described as "a shift" in his foreign policy proposals on the campaign trail to a more "Texas Tough Guy act."

The freshman Texas senator recently told a crowd in Iowa that he "will carpet bomb [ISIL] into oblivion," if elected president. In his latest campaign ad, Cruz faces the camera directly to send a message to terrorists: "If you wage jihad against us, you're signing your death warrant."

Cruz "spent the past year positioning himself as a fallback option for supporters of Sen. Rand Paul," the Union Leader editors noted, before blasting Cruz for his "newfound zeal for the fight in Syria."

As recently as last week, the Wall Street Journal editorial board similarly slammed Cruz's apparent reversal on foreign policy in Syria, noting that Cruz had just told Bloomberg that, “In my view, we have no dog in the fight of the Syrian civil war.”

"This is disingenuous even by Mr. Cruz’s standards," the Journal wrote, calling for more U.S. intervention in the region. But when Cruz delivered the more hawkish tone the neocons at the Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal demanded this week, the conservative Union Leader cried phony. The paper blasted Cruz for "ratcheting up his already overheated rhetoric," comparing the Tea Party superstar to liberals for using terms like carpet bombing "with no apparent knowledge of what it actually means."

"It’s because tough talk is all he has to offer," The Union Leader concluded about Cruz's hawkish turn:

Cruz has been transparently pandering to Donald Trump, hoping to win his supporters if and when the Trump bubble finally bursts.

Cruz, who never lacks the courage to tell people exactly what they want to hear, tends to confuse volume with strength.


So now Cruz is beating the drums of war. Will he be as quick to change tactics should the political winds shift again?

Cruz Disagrees with Trump's Policy but Refuses to Criticize Him

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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